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Thursday, December 30, 2004
CNN.com - Anna Nicole Smith loses $88.5 million ruling - Dec 30, 2004: "The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Texas probate court's decision that the oilman's son was his sole heir should stand.

The appeals court said the federal judge in California who ruled in Smith's favor in 2002 should never have even heard the case."
  Nitwit publicly macks on shoe
Scotsman.com News - Latest News - Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition'

“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.

“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.

“It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.”

Ms Short said the coalition countries did not have good records on responding to international disasters.

She said the US was “very bad at coordinating with anyone” and India had its own problems to deal with.
  Victor Davis Hanson on the Left on National Review Online
Victor Davis Hanson on the Left on National Review Online
Consider further: The United States runs staggering trade deficits with most of the world. Its dollar is at an all-time low. Its postwar international protocols — from the World Trade Organization to the United Nations — either favor the non-West or look unkindly toward the United States. The American military, at great risk and cost, alone in the world saved Kosovars, Afghans, and Iraqis from tyranny. For all the Vietnam-era rhetoric about American meddling, the elected Karzai and the provisional Allawi are a far cry from the Shah, Pinochet, or Somoza. We are doing things in the Middle East that make no sense in terms of traditional economic or political advantage — and yet still bring out 1960s-era stegosauruses alleging imperialism and hegemony.

What has happened? Sometime around the 1980s, the Right saw the demise of the Soviet Union as an opportunity to evolve beyond realpolitik to promote not just anti-Communism but grassroots democracy, coupled with free-market globalism from Eastern Europe to Latin America and Asia. In contrast, the hard Left stayed in its knee-jerk suspicion of the West and continued to give a pass to authoritarians from Cuba to Iran who professed socialism, thinking that the world was a static zero-sum game in which somebody's gain spelled another's loss — oblivious that real wealth could be created by a change of mentality and technology and not mere exploitation.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
  FBI Probes Laser Beam Directed at Cockpit
Yahoo! News - FBI Probes Laser Beam Directed at Cockpit: "CLEVELAND - Authorities are investigating a mysterious laser beam that was directed into the cockpit of a commercial jet traveling at more than 8,500 feet.

The beam appeared Monday when the plane was about 15 miles from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the FBI (news - web sites) said.

'It was in there for several seconds like (the plane) was being tracked,' FBI agent Robert Hawk said.

The pilot was able to land the plane, and air traffic controllers used radar to determine the laser came from a residential area in suburban Warrensville Heights.

Hawk said the laser had to have been fairly sophisticated to track a plane traveling at that altitude. Authorities had no other leads.

There have been several reports of lasers directed at commercial flights in the past year, the FBI said. The beams can distract or temporarily blind a pilot.

The Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) mandates that laser light shows must register their locations and the lights cannot be directed above 3,000 feet. Lasers are also often used by construction companies to line up foundations.

Interfering with a commercial flight is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison."
Anaheim mosque leader agrees to leave United States: "An Orange County mosque leader from Egypt who authorities said had given speeches that could be considered supportive of terrorist organizations agreed Tuesday to leave the United States voluntarily, giving up his fight to remain in the country."
  U.N. mumbles Not Stingy around shoe.
(via lgf)
Top News Article | Reuters.com: "U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland rowed back from statements he made on Monday after an annoyed Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington was 'the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world.'"
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
  Remove Nose to Spite Face
The Israelis are among the worlds foremost disaster recovery experts (they have had a lot of practice). Sri Lanka's refusal of Israeli assistance follow's Iran's similar refusal during the Bam earthquake.
DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism Security: "Sri Lanka refused to accept Israeli relief team of 150 doctors, nurses, medicines and equipment ready early Tuesday to fly complete field hospital to stricken country. Colombo which has no diplomatic relations with Israel would only accept supplies. Israeli planes took off with medical equipment, tents and other supplies - without desperately needed medical personnel"
  Class Act in Action
U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004: "Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being 'stingy' with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised. " (emphasis added -ed.)
In response to Mr. Egeland's comments, Mr. Duffy pointed out that the United States is "the largest contributor to international relief and aid efforts, not only through the government, but through charitable organizations. The American people are very giving."
  VDH's Private Papers::Our Challenges in the Year Ahead
VDH's Private Papers::Our Challenges in the Year Ahead
Nor will the Bush administration cease its reexamination of its superpower responsibilities. The American people believes that there is no longer any strategic or political logic in stationing thousands of soldiers in Europe, but plenty of reasons—economic, political, and psychological—to remove the vast majority of them at a time of troops shortages closer to the front. NATO has become as impotent as it is widely praised, especially when it fails to honor commitments in Afghanistan and abhors involvement with Iraq. This obstructionism is in sharp contrast to the prior European desire of American-led military intervention—without UN or Congressional sanction—to remove Slobodan Milosevic. Having learned belatedly the wisdom of talking more quietly while carrying an even bigger stick, America may continue to offer praise for the status quo trans-Atlantic relationship, while unobtrusively promoting wider bilateral relationships—like those with Australia—based on shared commitments to freedom and the need for collective security against statism and totalitarianism in all its many guises.

The United States might be able to fight an expensive war abroad and enact massive tax cuts, but not simultaneously increase federal spending, with new mandates and entitlements. Spiraling trade deficits, a weak dollar, mounting national debt, and enormous annual budget shortfalls are creating a perfect storm of sorts. If these crises don't quite yet destroy the confidence of allies abroad and embolden opportunistic rivals like a cash-flush China, the news increasingly depresses Americans—without whose confidence the war abroad can not be carried out in full to its final success.

Supply-siders and economic libertarians may or may not be correct that the public's worry over a sinking dollar and mounting debts is the superstition of the unsophisticated. But mastery of econometrics and world finance is not the same as warcraft, in which the spiritual is every bit as important as the material. The United States may well have the money to defeat the terrorists and change the Middle East, but if its people think otherwise, we may still falter in this war even when victory is on the horizon. Unless things change quickly, what George Bush wants to do these next four years increasingly will hinge on what his people think he can afford to do.
Friday, December 24, 2004
  Born Again Muslims Threaten Dutch
World News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch secret service says combating terrorism also means tackling the problem of thousands of disaffected 'born again' Muslims in the West who are open to the appeal of a radical, puritan version of Islam.

The AIVD intelligence service said fighting extremist Islam demanded much more subtlety and concentrating only on Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was a mistake as many militants operated outside any formal group structures.

The AIVD, which has previously said it is monitoring about 150 suspected Islamist militants in The Netherlands, said 'several thousand' Muslims, mostly youngsters, were vulnerable to the appeal of radical Islam. The Netherlands is home to about 1 million Muslims, or about 6 percent of the population."
  Death Penalty Opponents Slaughter 28 in 'demonstration' against Death Penalty
Yahoo! News - Assailants Kill 28 in Honduras Bus Attack: "TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Assailants claiming to be members of a revolutionary group opposed to the death penalty ambushed a bus filled with people bringing home Christmas gifts and killed at least 28 people, including six children, in an escalation of the battle between gangs and Honduras' government.

The bus with more than 50 people aboard, most of them women and children, was driving through a heavily populated neighborhood in the northern city of Chamelecon on Thursday evening when a car of gunmen cut in front of it and forced it to stop, police spokesman Deputy Commissioner Wilmer Torres said."
  Big Brother peers out from under your hood
'Black box' in car leads to charges in fatal crash: "Though not as sophisticated as airplane black boxes, car boxes can record speed, whether brakes were applied and whether seat belts were fastened. Some automakers install them at their factories, but there are questions about whether the boxes violate a driver's privacy and how the information can be used.

Indiana State Police Cpl. Chad Woody said the boxes help their investigations, but not all law enforcement agencies can use the information."
  Victor Davis Hanson on Donald Rumsfeld on National Review Online
Victor Davis Hanson on Donald Rumsfeld on National Review Online
The answer, of course, is the usual media-inspired flight from reason that overwhelms this country at various times — hype playing on our fears and groupthink to create a sudden story when there really is none. And now with the renewed attack on Donald Rumsfeld we are back to more of the flu-shot hysteria that has been so common in this war. Remember the pseudo-crises of the past four years — the quagmire in week three in Afghanistan or the sandstorm bog-down in Iraq?

Let us not forget either all the Orwellian logic: Clinton's past deleterious military slashes that nevertheless explained the present win in Afghanistan, or his former appeasement of bin Laden that now accounts for the successful doctrine of fighting terror. Or recall the harebrained schemes we should have adopted — the uninvited automatic airlifting of an entire division into the high peaks of Islamic, nuclear Pakistan to cut off the tribal fugitives from Tora Bora? Or have we put out of our memories the brilliant trial balloons of a Taliban coalition government and the all Islamic post-Taliban occupation forces?

So it is with the latest feeding-frenzy over Donald Rumsfeld. His recent spur-of-the-moment — but historically plausible — remarks to the effect that one goes to war with the army one has rather than the army one wishes for angered even conservatives. The demands for his head are to be laughed off from an unserious Maureen Dowd — ranting on spec about the shadowy neocon triad of Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle — but taken seriously from a livid Bill Kristol or Trent Lott. Rumsfeld is, of course, a blunt and proud man, and thus can say things off the cuff that in studied retrospect seem strikingly callous rather than forthright. No doubt he has chewed out officers who deserved better. And perhaps his quip to the scripted, not-so-impromptu question was not his best moment. But his resignation would be a grave mistake for this country at war, for a variety of reasons.
  MM Attacks Again
New York Post Online Edition: entertainment
pharmaceutical industry is putting out an advisory about the latest potential threat to its health: Michael Moore.

The filmmaker, whose targets have included General Motors ("Roger & Me"), the gun lobby (the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine") and President Bush ("Fahrenheit 9/11"), has set his sights on the health care industry, including insurance companies, HMOs, the Food and Drug Administration — and drug companies.

At least six of the nation's largest firms have already issued internal notices to their workforces, preparing them for potential ambushes.

"We ran a story in our online newspaper saying Moore is embarking on a documentary — and if you see a scruffy guy in a baseball cap, you'll know who it is," said Stephen Lederer, a spokesman for Pfizer Global Research and Development.

Pharmaceutical executives are bracing for the worst.

"Moore's past work has been marked by negativity, so we can only assume it won't be a fair and balanced portrayal," said Rachel Bloom, executive director of corporate communications for AstraZeneca. "His movies resemble docudramas more than documentaries."

Rumors are already flying within the industry about Moore's moviemaking tactics.

Moore, it is said, has hired actors to portray pharmaceutical salesmen who offer gifts to doctors who promote their products. There's also word that he's offered physicians $50,000 apiece to install secret cameras in their offices in an effort to document alleged corruption.

In September, employees said that Moore was shoving a microphone at people at GlaxoSmithKline, Bloom notes, even though he was in town only for a radio appearance.
  U.S. judge greenlights Prop. 200
U.S. judge greenlights Prop. 200 | The Arizona Daily Star �: "As of today, the state of Arizona will begin enforcing Proposition 200, the voter-approved initiative that denies some public benefits to illegal immigrants.

A federal judge in Tucson on Wednesday lifted a temporary restraining order that had blocked the state from implementing the initiative. After his ruling, Gov. Janet Napolitano issued an executive order directing state agencies to comply with the law.

'The voters made the decision, and I intend to make sure the law is enforced correctly,' she said in a statement.

Kathy McKee, a key supporter of the initiative, said: 'We just hoped against all hopes that justice would be served and it was.'

The ruling of U.S. District Court Judge David Bury - which came amid a packed courtroom and extra security outside his sixth-floor courtroom - gives state workers the green light to demand proof of legal status from applicants. If workers don't report illegal residents to immigration authorities, the workers could face jail time and a fine."
  US contemplating strikes into Syria
Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "The US is contemplating incursions into Syrian territory in an attempt to kill or capture Iraqi Ba'athists who, it believes, are directing at least part of the attacks against US targets in Iraq, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

The official said that fresh sanctions are likely to be implemented, but added that the US needs to be more 'aggressive' after Tuesday's deadly attack on a US base in Mosul. The comment suggested that the US believes the attack on the mess tent, in which 22 people were killed, may have been coordinated from inside Syrian territory"
  Teachers flee 'insurgents' - International - Schools shut after murders
Edinburgh Evening News - International - Schools shut after murders
MORE than 300 schools in southern Thailand closed their doors today, following the killing of three teachers.

Fearful staff have said they won’t return until the government can provide adequate protection from Muslim insurgents.

Teachers agreed yesterday that public schools in three southern provinces would go on strike.

More than 570 people have died since militants restarted a fight for a state separated from the Buddhist-dominated country. School officials have become targets because they are viewed as government representatives.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
  Holidays Inspire a Rush to the Border
The New York Times > National > Holidays Inspire a Rush to the Border: "A toddler was found last month stuffed in a pi�ata. The smugglers were let go, border patrol agents said.

'The border is broken, Mexico is broken, the immigration policy is broken, and you can see it right now at Christmas time on the border,' said George E. McCubbin, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing 10,000 border patrol agents.

'These people you see now going home, we'll be chasing in a month,' Mr. McCubbin said. 'And the smuggling business has gotten so lucrative and ruthless it puts our agents at risk of being killed.'

Though 2,000 border patrol agents will be added over the next five years, they do not address the reason immigrants come illegally, he said, adding, 'We have to have the will to go after the employers.'

With the Mexican economy faltering and Mexicans believing that the Bush administration will offer blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants, more people entered the United States illegally last year than any other since Sept. 11, 2001. Officials estimate that three million people entered the United States illegally last year, a majority of them Mexican.

The business of smuggling people has become so lucrative that drug-style cartels are in the game. As a consequence, murder and kidnapping have skyrocketed in Phoenix, the main hub of the smuggling business. An illegal crossing costs upward of $2,000.

'Stand on the border around Christmas and you'll see what a joke the immigration policy is,' Mr. McCubbin said.

Not all news is bad on the border. In a ceremony on Monday, 90 wild parrots smuggled into the United States were repatriated to Mexico, a gift from the American government."
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
  Great Moments in Self-Delusion
World Tribune.com--Front Page
SEOUL – North Korea has expelled 27 foreigners it said tested positive for HIV and claimed the country remains free of AIDS.

North Korea is "the only country on the earth that has no AIDS-related patients," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported quoting North Korea's Pyongyang Time. Yonhap reported the magazine in Pyongyang carried an interview with Han Kyong-Ho, director of Pyongyang's Central Hygienic and Anti-Epizootic Center in its Dec. 4 issue.

In the interview, Han said that more than 400,000 people have been tested for AIDS since 1989, and that none other than the 27 foreigners was found to have the disease.

"Those 27 foreigners were sent home at their request," Han said. He did not elaborate on the period of time in which the disease was allegedly discovered and when the foreigners were expelled or to which nations they went.

Han attributed the non-existence of AIDS patients in North Korea to the "sound and moral lifestyle" of North Korean people.

Many North Korean statements are impossible to confirm independently and objectively, to health officials in South Korea say. "WHO [World Health Organization] reports every year that there is no AIDS patient reported from North Korea, but the international health organization has no way to confirm the report," said Koh Eun-A, an official at the AIDS & Tuberculosis Section of the National Institute of Health in Seoul.
  Iraqi nuclear scientist shot dead - After Saddam
For someone that had nothing to hide in the way of weapons, an awful lot of his scientists have been perished
Iraqi nuclear scientist shot dead - After Saddam - www.smh.com.au: "Unidentified gunmen shot dead an Iraqi nuclear scientist north of Baghdad yesterday, witnesses said.

Taleb Ibrahim al-Daher was on his way to work at Diyala University when armed men opened fire on his car as it was crossing a bridge in Baqouba, 57km north-east of Baghdad.

The vehicle swerved off the bridge and fell into the Khrisan river, witnesses said.

Al-Daher, who was a professor at the local university, was removed from the submerged car and rushed to Baqouba hospital where he was pronounced dead"
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Group Says Russia Now at 'Not Free' Status
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Group Says Russia Now at 'Not Free' Status: "MOSCOW (AP) - Russia has restricted rights to such an extent that it has joined the countries that are not free for the first time since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, Freedom House said Monday, marking Moscow's march away from the Western democracies it has embraced as diplomatic partners.

``This setback for freedom represented the year's most important political trend,'' the U.S.-based non-governmental organization wrote in its annual study, Freedom in the World 2005."
  Stupid fight over barren land
India reasserts claim over Kashmir - Breaking News - http://www.smh.com.au: "'I made it clear to President Musharraf that while we are willing to look at various options, we would not agree to any redrawing of boundaries, or another partition of the country,' he said.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir, which is divided between the nuclear-armed neighbours by a 1972 cease-fire line.

Both claim Kashmir in its entirety.

  Europe sees Muslims with suspicion : HindustanTimes.com/UK: News for UK Asians
Europe sees Muslims with suspicion : HindustanTimes.com/UK: News for UK Asians: "A recent survey has led to the startling revelation that Muslims all over Europe are being viewed with high levels of disapproval. Researchers asked 1,000 people in 19 countries. According to their assessment, Sweden emerged as the most pessimistic west European nation. Seventy-five per cent Swedes questioned said that there was 'definitely a lot' of disapproval of the community.

Britain is relatively more tolerant. Just 39 per cent of those questioned said they believed that a significant number of people were opposed to the Muslims. In Holland, 72 per cent said there was a lot of disapproval, and in Denmark the figure was 67 per cent. On an average 52 per cent of people surveyed across western Europe believed that there was a large-scale unhappiness about Muslims."
  Kofi presides over another unchecked genocide
The feckless Kofi Annan once again has a front row seat to a ongoing genocide. In the same manner as when he was in charge of UN peace keepers in Rwanda and left the people he was supposed to be protecting get slaughtered by the 10's of thousands. Now that he is SecGen of the UN, he is standing by and watching the muslim militias slaughter the Sudanese. Is their no limit to the hypocracy of the UN and it's supposed 'ideals'?
International News Article | Reuters.com: "ABUJA (Reuters) - Sudan's government and Darfur rebels suspended faltering peace talks on Tuesday and the African Union urged both sides to stop fighting to allow negotiations to resume in January.

The break up of peace talks in the Nigeria came as British aid agency Save the Children announced it was pulling all 350 of its staff out of Darfur after the killing of four of its staff and ren"
One would hope that the only thing the US would be giving our earstwhile 'ally' was the back of our metaphorical hand. What are we going to do after we play kissy-face with the Germans and they revert back to nature and once again start carrying water for Chiraq and his foolish scheme?
Politics News Article | Reuters.com: "BERLIN (Reuters) - President Bush will visit Germany on Feb. 23 for the first time after three years of frosty relations, a move quickly welcomed by the government in Berlin as a sign of improving transatlantic ties.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's spokesman Bela Anda said on Tuesday Bush would travel to Germany, which had been a close ally of Washington before relations ruptured over Iraq. Bush first would visit NATO and the European Union in Brussels on Feb. 22.

'The German government is delighted about the U.S. president's visit,' Anda said. 'We also welcome that President Bush will meet NATO and EU leaders one day before that in Brussels.'

Bush's trip to Europe at the start of his second term is designed to mend breaches between Europe and the United States that opened up over the Iraq war, Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently in Brussels.

Bush's journey to Germany is especially noteworthy because Schroeder was one of the leading opponents of the Iraq war alongside French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Schroeder's criticism of U.S. policy put strains in traditionally close German-U.S. relations and led to fears in both countries that the extensive business ties between the world's two largest export nations could be damaged."
  Soon to be great moments in Doh!
Yahoo! News - ISS Crew Counts Calories as Food Supply Runs Low: "With food stores running low, the two astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (news - web sites) (ISS) are cutting back their meal intake and awaiting a critical cargo delivery expected to arrive on Dec. 25.

ISS Expedition 10 commander Leroy Chiao and flight engineer Salizhan Sharipov are scaling down their daily caloric intake by up to 10 percent, but will meet their daily nutritional requirements and should not experience any discomfort, NASA space station officials said today. Current food supplies will hit critical just as the resupply ship is due, with water supplies lasting through Jan. 18, they added."
  Instapundit.com - Bad Day
Instapundit.com -: "YES, THIS COUNTS AS A BAD DAY."
  I dunno about this one
USATODAY.com - Single-serving coffee can heats itself
Beginning Jan. 2, consumers can buy a 10-ounce container of Wolfgang Puck gourmet latte at the store and heat it by pressing a button. No electricity. No batteries. No appliances.

"It will expand the way people drink coffee," says Puck, the celebrity chef with a growing empire.

How does the can do it? A single step mixes calcium oxide (quicklime) and water. It heats the coffee to 145 degrees in six minutes — and stays hot for 30 minutes.

It sounds like a technology used by soldiers to heat Meals-Ready-To-Eat. But MREs mix magnesium iron oxide and water and need several steps. This is one-step and self-contained.
  Only when his fingers are pried from the the gavel
Yahoo! News - Annan Reiterates He Won't Resign: "UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) reiterated Tuesday he has no intention of resigning over allegations of corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program and plans to move ahead with sweeping changes at the United Nations (news - web sites)."
  Geez! - Still pandering for future votes
Bush presses for reform on border policy - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 21, 2004: "President Bush said yesterday he wants to reform immigration policy so that the Border Patrol will be 'chasing crooks and thieves and drug-runners and terrorists,' and not the thousands who cross the border every day to find work.
Mr. Bush has for months tried to drum up congressional support for his plan to give illegal aliens 'temporary worker cards' that would allow them to legally hold jobs that U.S. businesses say they can't fill with American labor.
At his final formal press conference of the year, Mr. Bush said immigrants are pouring over the U.S. border, mostly from Mexico, to 'put food on the table' and that 'it makes sense for us to recognize that reality. "
  Daniel Pipes: Why is America upping the hundreds of million$ it already gives the 'Palestinians'!? Arafat's successor is hell-bent on destroying Israe
Daniel Pipes: Why is America upping the hundreds of million$ it already gives the 'Palestinians'!? Arafat's successor is hell-bent on destroying Israel: "Aid-wise, residents of the West Bank and Gaza have hardly been neglected until now. They receive about $300 per person, making them, per capita, the world's greatest beneficiaries of foreign aid. Strangely, their efforts to destroy Israel have not inspired efforts to crush this hideous ambition but rather to subsidize it. Money being fungible, foreign aid effectively funds the Palestinians' bellicose propaganda machine, their arsenal, their army, and their suicide bombers.

This, however, does not faze international aid types. Nigel Roberts, the World Bank's director for the West Bank and Gaza, blows off past failures. Addressing himself to donors, he says, 'Maybe your $1 billion a year hasn't produced much, but we think there's a case for doing even more in the next three or four years.'

Roberts is saying, in effect: Yes, your money enabled Arafat's corruption, jihad ideology, and suicide factories, but those are yesterday's problems; now, let's hope the new leadership uses donations for better purposes. Please lavish more funds on it to enhance its prestige and power, then hope for the best."
  Dog Bites Man: Mad Mullah's Seek A-Bomb
ABC News: Diplomats: Iran Atomic Work Breaks Spirit of Accord: "VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's decision to keep preparing raw uranium for enrichment, a step on the way to making nuclear weapons, breaks the spirit though not the letter of its pledge to freeze all such activity, diplomats said on Tuesday.

Under a deal Iran reached with three EU nations to freeze all enrichment activity as of Nov. 22, preparing 'yellowcake' uranium for enrichment is not strictly prohibited, but 'it would certainly violate the spirit of the agreement..' diplomats said.

Iran's chief delegate to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said separately that Iran would press ahead with its nuclear program. Western diplomats said this would include work broadly but not explicitly covered by last month's suspension accord."
Monday, December 20, 2004
  This just in from the Mad Mullahs
Top News Article | Reuters.com: "TEHRAN (Reuters) - Israeli and U.S. agents were behind bombings in Iraq's Shi'ite holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf, Iran's Supreme Leader said Monday, accusing Tehran's arch-foes of trying to rig Iraq's elections for their own ends.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran was quick to condemn Sunday's car bombings in Najaf and Kerbala, which killed 66 people.

'I am sure Israeli and American spy services were behind these events. This is a plot which aims at keeping the Iraqis so busy that they will miss the exceptional chance to participate in the January 30 elections,' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, speaking to Mecca pilgrimage organizers on state TV.

'The British and Americans want to hold elections on the surface but in reality they want to bring their own agents to power by holding superficial elections,' added the Supreme Leader, who has the last word on all state matters."
Sunday, December 19, 2004
  Michael J. Totten: Progressive Patriotism
Michael puts it better that I could ever hope to, and frankly he is much kinder that I am diposed toward being on this topic.
Rather than try and summarize his excellent summary, I will just pass along his entire posting.

Michael J. Totten: Progressive Patriotism

Progressive Patriotism

George Orwell is one of my favorite writers, not so much for his novels (which are great) but for the essays he wrote during World War II. One of the pleasures of re-reading his work is to see how the more things change the more they don’t change at all. Also, as a side note, though it's not what he intended, he shows better than most how closely England resembles America.
Your In England England he wrote about the divorce of patriotism from leftism.

In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible. Both the New Statesman and the News Chronicle cried out against the Munich settlement, but even they had done something to make it possible. Ten years of systematic Blimp-baiting affected even the Blimps themselves and made it harder than it had been before to get intelligent young men to enter the armed forces. Given the stagnation of the Empire, the military middle class must have decayed in any case, but the spread of a shallow Leftism hastened the process.

It is clear that the special position of the English intellectuals during the past ten years, as purely negative creatures, mere anti-Blimps, was a by-product of ruling-class stupidity. Society could not use them, and they had not got it in them to see that devotion to one's country implies ‘for better, for worse’. Both Blimps and highbrows took for granted, as though it were a law of nature, the divorce between patriotism and intelligence. If you were a patriot you read Blackwood's Magazine and publicly thanked God that you were ‘not brainy’. If you were an intellectual you sniggered at the Union Jack and regarded physical courage as barbarous. It is obvious that this preposterous convention cannot continue. The Bloomsbury highbrow, with his mechanical snigger, is as out-of-date as the cavalry colonel. A modern nation cannot afford either of them. Patriotism and intelligence will have to come together again.

Patriotism and intelligence will have to come together again. Can they? Of course. But I can’t say it’s an encouraging prospect considering how very long ago he wrote those words.

That doesn’t stop some of us from thinking about it, though. Via Roger L. Simon I discovered a new blog called Done With Mirrors. The blog’s author Callimachus wrote an essay called Progressive Patriotism. It is your required reading over the weekend.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
  Great Moments in hypocrisy
heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida's Information Leader: "The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.

Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice o"
  Surreal Moment in ICK!
Ok maybe I am being my reactionary old self here; but wtf! How in the hell do you find 200 parents that are willing (eager?) to send their kids off to Camp Jacko.That almost bothers me as much as him being a total freak and having such ready access to kids.
Yahoo! News - Kids Treated to Day at Jackson's Estate:

"I love you,' the pop singer called out to the children Friday from the driveway of his estate.
Jackson, who faces trial next year on child molestation charges, appeared happy during the few minutes he spoke to the arriving throng.

One of the youngsters shouted, 'We love you!'

'I love you more,' Jackson replied"
  Ahh, the UN, that final bastion of moral authority
What is it with the UN and child sex? Everywhere you find those Blue Helmeted ineffectual fools (ask the Dutch how well they served the Bosnians) you find a UN operated child sex ring Best of all we get that supreme icon of moral behavior Kofi Annan telling the US that it is imoral and illegal in it's actions.
Congo Sex Scandal Prompts Efforts for Reform in U.N.
Certainly some, even many, U.N. peacekeepers and civilian officers in this war-plagued region were. Aziza's story and at least 150 other reports of sexual abuse in Congo have come to light in recent months, shocking an institution that considers itself an agency of mercy.

The shock has inspired action on an overhaul of the U.N.'s 16 peacekeeping missions around the world. In Congo, home to the largest operation — with about 11,000 soldiers and 1,200 civilians — the allegations point to nearly all of the major peacekeeping contingents. But they also involve senior civilian officials, including a top security officer, a chief on the U.N. special envoy's staff and an internal oversight investigator.

The charges range from rape to exploitation — sex for a bottle of water or a military ration — to "relationships" or solicitations that are marked by a severe imbalance in power. One case, involving a French U.N. staffer who took digital pictures of underage girls, has caused concern that it could become "the U.N.'s Abu Ghraib" if the photos get out.

Charges of sexual abuse have haunted U.N. peacekeepers for years, most notably during operations in Cambodia, the Balkans and Liberia in the 1990s. The cases in Congo, however, may mark a tipping point.

Two years after the first charges were made, top U.N. officials have finally denounced the problem openly and vowed to punish those involved.

Last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the issue publicly for the first time.
  Lets all Bite the Hand that Feeds Us
Yep, 15 billion dollars and all the free meds that can be shipped in is not enough to slake their thirst. If one were a reactionary, one would think that implementing a continental quarrantine and leaving them to their own devices would be a just fate.
Yahoo! News - S. Africa Attacks U.S. Over AIDS Drug: "JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - President Thabo Mbeki's ruling party published a stinging attack Friday on top U.S. health officials, accusing them of treating Africans like 'guinea pigs' and lying to promote a key AIDS (news - web sites) drug.

The criticism reinforces fears of doctors and activists that new questions about the testing of nevirapine could halt use of the drug that's credited with protecting thousands of African babies from catching HIV (news - web sites) from their mothers.

The article, published in the online journal ANC Today, was responding to Associated Press reports this week that U.S. health officials withheld criticism of a nevirapine study before President Bush (news - web sites) launched a 2002 plan to distribute the drug in Africa."
Friday, December 17, 2004
  Great Moments in Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Yahoo! News - San Antonio Strippers to Wear Permits: "SAN ANTONIO - The City Council on Friday approved an ordinance requiring strippers to wear their permits while they are on stage.

City Councilman Chip Haass pushed the measure, adopted unanimously by the 11-member council, as a way to make it easier for police to identify dancers.

But Jim Deegear, a lawyer for several strip clubs in the city, said it would put strippers in danger by making it easier for an obsessed customer to find out a dancer's real name and where she lives.

He said the measure is part of an effort to drive strip clubs out of business, and he said he will fight it in court."
  Once again, what happened to: "You are either with us or you are with the Terrorists"?
Why in the hell is Bush getting back into bed with the Spanish. Those crawfishing appeasement monkeys already showed the measure of their mettle when they tucked their johnsons up and turned tail and fled in the face of the enemy. And for what, Spain is still filthy with Islamic terrorists and terror plots. So what safety did the Spanish purchase for themselves by cowering in the face of the Islamic-supremacists?
And frankly after the many extremly anti-American statements of Zapatero and his cronies why is the US even giving them even the time of day?

Politics News Article | Reuters.com: "MADRID (Reuters) - The United States and Spain put aside strains in their relationship on Friday as they agreed to step up judicial cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero angered President Bush by ordering Spanish troops home from Iraq as soon as he took office in April.

The U.S. ambassador to Spain skipped Spain's national day parade in October because of a year-old slight by Zapatero and then Bush failed to return Zapatero's telephone call congratulating him on his re-election in November.

But it was all smiles on Friday as visiting U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Spanish Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez signed updated agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance, under which nations share information that can help them bring suspects to trial.

Ashcroft, who has resigned but stays in office until his successor is confirmed, proved a model diplomat when asked if his visit marked a fresh start in the Bush administration's relations with Zapatero's government.

'We consider the relationship to be a sound working relationship which has been very productive,' Ashcroft told a news conference, referring to the two nations' efforts to combat terrorism."
  True Hero's abound, they are just not sought for.
I guess you have to be a dope fiend or a Paris Hilton space cadet in order to be lionized in the press. However do not forget that yes Virginia there really are true hero's in the world. Our popular culture just does not see them as so.
Oliver North: No more heroes?: " At the fourth house they encountered that morning, the Marines kicked in the door and 'cleared' the front rooms, but then noticed a locked door off to the side that required inspection. Peralta threw open the closed door, but behind it were three terrorists with AK-47s. Peralta was hit in the head and chest with multiple shots at close range.

Peralta's fellow Marines had to step over his body to continue the shootout with the terrorists. As the firefight raged on, a 'yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped grenade,' as Lance Cpl. Travis Kaemmerer described it, rolled into the room where they were all standing and came to a stop near Peralta's body.

But Sgt. Rafael Peralta wasn't dead -- yet. This young immigrant of 25 years, who enlisted in the Marines when he received his green card, who volunteered for the front line duty in Fallujah, had one last act of heroism in him.

Peralta was the polar opposite of Paredes, the petty officer who turned his back on his shipmates and mocked his commander in chief. Peralta was proud to serve his adopted country. In his parent's home, on his bedroom walls hung only three items -- a copy of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. Before he set out for Fallujah, he wrote to his 14-year-old brother, 'Be proud of me, bro ... and be proud of being an American.'

Not only can Rafael's family be proud of him, but his fellow Marines are alive because of him. As Peralta lay near death on the floor of a Fallujah terrorist hideout, he spotted the yellow grenade that had rolled next to his near-lifeless body. Once detonated, it would take out the rest of Peralta's squad. To save his fellow Marines, Peralta reached out, grabbed the grenade and tucked it under his abdomen, where it exploded."
  Great Moments in Duh!
General: Iraqi Insurgents Directed From Syria (washingtonpost.com): "A top Army general said yesterday that the Iraqi insurgency was being run in part by former senior Iraqi Baath Party officials operating in Syria who call themselves the 'New Regional Command.'

These men, from the former governing party of deposed president Saddam Hussein, are 'operating out of Syria with impunity and providing direction and financing for the insurgency,' said Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the U.S. commander in Iraq. 'That needs to stop,' Casey said at a Pentagon briefing."
  Read the whole thing: VDH's Private Papers :: Cracked Icons
VDH's Private Papers :: Cracked Icons VDH is probably my favorite collumnist at this time. His background is such that he is able to view current events in relation to history, going way back. His view is also top-level enough that he is able to cogently explain and or illustrate the larger ramifications of current events.
His articles usually come out on Friday's and are always worth the time to read!

1. There really isn’t a phenomenon like “Islamophobia” — at least no more than there was a “Germanophobia” in hating Hitler or “Russophobia” in detesting Stalinism. Any unfairness or rudeness that accrues from the “security profiling” of Middle Eastern young males is dwarfed by efforts of Islamic fascists themselves — here in the U.S., in the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Turkey, and Israel — to murder Westerners and blow up civilians. The real danger to thousands of innocents is not an occasional evangelical zealot or uncouth politician spouting off about Islam, but the deliberately orchestrated and very sick anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism that floods the airways worldwide, emanating from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, to be sure, but also from our erstwhile “allies” in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

So both here and abroad, the Western public believes that there is a double standard in the moral judgment of our left-leaning media, universities, and politicians — that we are not to supposed to ask how Christians are treated in Muslim societies, only how free Islamists in Western mosques are to damn their hosts; or that we are to think beheading, suicide murdering, and car bombing moral equivalents to the sexual humiliation and roguery of Abu Ghraib — apparently because the former involves post-colonial victims and the latter privileged, exploitive Americans. Most sane people, however, privately disagree, and distinguish between a civilian’s head rolling on the ground and a snap shot of an American guard pointing at the genitalia of her terrorist ward.
  ( via Captain's Quarters)
Captain's Quarters: "Japan Blinks, For Now

After having been insulted by the North Koreans over fraudulent remains of kidnapped Japanese citizens, Japan threatened economic sanctions if Kim Jpng-Il's regime did not answer for its intransigence. This led to a threat from Pyongyang that Japanese sanctions would amount to war and that the DPRK would respond in kind. This morning, Japan blinked, at least for the moment:

Japan says it will give North Korea more time to resolve a dispute over kidnapped Japanese citizens before imposing sanctions.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made the pledge after talks with visiting South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.

The Japanese government is under pressure to impose sanctions over a row concerning kidnapped Japanese.

Japan had a lot of company, with Roo's voice joining that of China and the US advising that Japan essentially do nothing but complain. Kim Jong-Il has won another minor battle in the multilateral talks without much of a fight.

Over the past decades, the North Koreans kidnapped a number of Japanese citizens and enslaved them -- there is no better word for it -- in order to learn how to infiltrate Japanese society and plan for its destruction. No one knows for sure how many were taken, but Pyongyang finally admitted to the practice earlier this year and promised to return the remains of those who died as slaves to Kim Jong-Il. After all that, with the families of those kidnapped waiting for the chance to inter their loved ones, the Kim regime pulled a bait-and-switch and sent back the cremains of others. Apparently Pyongyang had no idea that cremains can be tested for DNA analysis.

Under any other circumstances, these revelations should provoke a strong response, and indeed the Kim regime appears to practically beg for it. Still, the appeasement approach to Kim Jong-Il continues, and like Hitler in 1938, Kim must be wondering exactly what it takes for his enemies to finally figure"
  Europe's version of the Arab/Islamofascist
The Irish (IRA) have always struck me as having the same victim/revenge mindset that has created a wellspring of terrorists. A mindset that has existed for so long that it is almost seems part of their genetic makeup.
There have been numerous reports of IRA 'technicians' working with the Palistinians in bomb tech. Now you find them working with the FARC terrorists in Columbia. The IRA is as much a member (albiet a pathetically tiny part) of the world terror network as any other Islamic Fundamentalist.

Telegraph | News | Colombia jails 'IRA men' for 17 years: "Three men linked to the IRA were jailed for up to 17 years in their absence yesterday for training Colombian rebels.

Judges in Bogota ordered the arrest of James Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley.

They were released on bail in April after being acquitted of instructing the Farc guerrillas in making bombs but convicted of passport fraud and ordered to stay in the country. Their whereabouts are not known."
  Hang 'em, Hang him high!
The New York Times > National > Private Guard at Home Site Charged With Arson: "BALTIMORE, Dec. 16 - A 21-year-old security guard who worked at a new subdivision in southern Maryland was arrested Thursday and charged with setting fires to houses there in the worst case of residential arson in the state's history, federal authorities said.

The guard, Aaron L. Speed of Waldorf, Md., was arrested at his home not far from the Hunters Brooke subdivision in Indian Head, where blazes set early on Dec. 6 caused some $10 million in damage, destroying 10 houses in various stages of construction and damaging 16 others.

Mr. Speed had been an employee of Security Services of America, a company based in Morehead City, N.C., that had been hired to guard the development, a law enforcement official said. A woman who answered the phone at the company's headquarters declined to comment Thursday night."
Thursday, December 16, 2004
  (scroll down) Zarqawi thought to be in Bagdad
CNN.com - Saddam sees attorney for first time - Dec 16, 2004: "The most wanted man in Iraq, Islamic militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is most likely in Baghdad after losing his sanctuary in the western city of Falluja, but he is having a tougher time planning and launching attacks, a top U.S. general says.

'He can operate pretty safely, we think,' said Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, deputy chief of U.S. forces in the Middle East, on Wednesday."
  Great Moments in Schtoopidity
Powell backs Annan on U.N. scandal - (United Press International): "Washington, DC, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Thursday defended U.N. chief Kofi Annan amid calls for his resignation over the oil-for-food scandal.

'We have confidence in the secretary-general,' Powell said after a meeting with Annan at the U.S. State Department."
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
  Damn Skippy!
Will wonders ever cease?! The Government actually decided to keep thier grubby little regulatory paws out of at least one slice of the spectrum and liberty.
Broadcasting & Cable: The Business of Television: "The FCC declined to open a proceeding on whether satellite radio is indecent, saying that it is a subscription service and that the agency has already ruled that such services 'do not call into play the issue of indecency.'"
  Craptastic Science
The Speeding Outhouse - Popular Science
Some folks like to take their time on the can. Not Paul Stender. When the 43-year-old former pit mechanic feels the need for speed, he straps himself into his jet-engine-equipped toilet and roars off, trailing flame. Stender was running superfast snowmobiles on the drag-racing circuit when he saw his first jet-driven funny car. He liked it so much he bought one, and started building his own outlandishly overpowered vehicles: a jet motorcycle, a jet pickup, a jet school bus. Then one day at a show in Texas, he saw a windstorm blow portable toilets across the tarmac, and it was Newton’s apple all over again.
  Absolutely one of the funnier internet games/gee whiz animations I have seen in a while.
Holiday Snowglobe
  The Corner on National Review Online - Excellent point regarding our 'Moderate Muslims'
The Corner on National Review Online: "MORE ON DFW KHOMEINIFEST [Rod Dreher]
This pro-Ayatollah conference held in Dallas last weekend, billed as a 'Tribute to The Great Islamic Visionary,' Ayatollah Khomeini, ought to be front page news, but so far, the MSM is uninterested. Not so World Net Daily, which points out in today's dispatch that one of the speakers, a radical DC imam, was reportedly investigated by the FBI as a possible agent of Tehran. Meanwhile, Robert Spencer wrote a good column not long ago after seeing pro-Khomeini placards at a Muslim demonstration in Dearborn, Michigan. He warned readers with short memories what Khomeini stood for:

As Khomeini himself put it: 'Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world....But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.'

The goal of this conquest would be to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. As Khomeini put it: 'What is the good of us [i.e., the mullahs] asking for the hand of a thief to be severed or an adulteress to be stoned to death when all we can do is recommend such punishments, having no power to implement them?'

Khomeini accordingly delivered notorious rebuke to the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace crowd: 'Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies].... Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur'anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim."

That was part of Ayatollah Khomeini's vision. What kind of person wishes to step forward and pay tribute to it? Why were prominent Dallas Muslim leaders, and a Muslim who plays professional basketball for the Dallas Mavericks, involved in this thing? Do they support this? "
  Sticking it to the Man
Yahoo! News - Mindawn offers DRM-free music downloads: "Mindawn is a new online music download service that differs from Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store and other services in a few ways: It's not only compatible with Macs and PCs but with Linux (news - web sites) computers too, its music is available in a lossless format, and there are no Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions. (emphisis added -ed.) Mindawn launched in September and is picking up steam, according to its founder."
  It's AOL, nuff said.
Yahoo! News - TimeWarner Settles AOL Fraud for $210 Mln: "The Justice Department will file a criminal complaint that accuses AOL and PurchasePro.com, a thriving software company that has since shut down, of engaging in a scheme to inflate revenue in federal court in Virginia, the official said. Top Justice Department officials are due to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. (2000 GMT)

AOL will be fined $210 million in criminal-related fines, the official said. The fines include $150 million that will go into a compensation fund to pay for any civil litigation to resolve criminal charges and $60 million in criminal fines.

Time Warner,"
  Running out of protective tinfoil shielding
So, not only do I have to fear the CIA's satilite Mind Control waves (see Kucinich), and my Cellphones's GPS tracking capability, now the dadgummed thing is going to spy on me.
At this point, I think I am going to have to just go with the tinfoil body suit. What else can possible keep me safe from the nefarious capabilites of techno-gadgets run amok? /sarc

Wired News: Security Cavities Ail Bluetooth: "Serious flaws discovered in Bluetooth technology used in mobile phones can let an attacker remotely download contact information from victims' address books, read their calendar appointments or peruse text messages on their phones to conduct corporate espionage.

An attacker could even plant phony text messages in a phone's memory, or turn the phone sitting in a victim's pocket or on a restaurant table top into a listening device to pick up private conversations in the phone's vicinity. Most types of attacks could be conducted without leaving a trace.

John Hering holds the BlueSniper 'rifle' he created with colleagues that lets someone find and attack a Bluetooth-enabled device from a distance. A test-run of the BlueSniper allowed Hering to grab the phone book and text messages from a Nokia 6310i phone 1.1 miles away from him.The BlueSniper rifle for capturing data from Bluetooth-enabled phones is constructed from a Choate Ruger Mini-14 stock, 14dbi semi-directional Yagi antenna, standard rifle scope, electrical tape, zip ties and cardboard.

  I get asked all the time, "Why do they hate us?"
TCS: Tech Central Station - "All Intifada, All the Time": "While the West is basking in the tunes of Christmas carols, a different tune is being played by the two leading Jihadi TV channels, al Jazeera and al Manar. The radical Sunni al Jazeera, broadcasting from Qatar, the flagship of anti-Western Islamist propaganda, is funded and tolerated by the Qatari royal family, reportedly to the tune of $30 million a year. It has become the main conduit of Al Qaeda tapes to the Arab and Muslim world, suggesting an exclusive arrangement with the elusive jihadi leaders Usama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri.

Al Manar, a Shi'i satellite and cable operation out of Lebanon, belongs to Hizballah and funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the tune of $15 million a year, and is even more anti-American in its pitch. Both channels are available world wide, including the US, via satellite. Canadian cable operators are now offering al Jazeera and al Manar via easily obtained and cheap subscriptions.

Robert Spencer, Director of the NGO Jihad Watch says that al Jazeera provides foreign-based terrorists with a source of news, encouragement and instruction. It serves radical Muslims as a useful recruiting tool. For jihadist recruiters, al Jazeera is like an electronic madrassa beaming the teachings and perspective of radical Islam into the living rooms of Muslims around the world twenty four hours a day, Spencer says."
  The rot at the core of our culture/future
Multicultural shaping of teachers - The Washington Times: Commentary - December 15, 2004: "The multiculturalists, by stark contrast, do not see the United States at all as a good country with common values worth transmitting. They grossly divide Americans into 'oppressors' (all whites of European descent) and the 'oppressed' (all persons of color from minority cultures).
Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States,' a 750-page screed that depicts America as a continuing centuries-old conspiracy of rich white men to exploit minorities, is their hornbook. Many use it in their classrooms to demean America's Founders.
They want to mold future teachers into agents of social transformation who will reject the continuing Anglo/Western influences on the core curriculum and denounce what they contend is a legacy of unrelenting oppression that should cause all white Americans to carry a heavy burden of guilt.
That much becomes clear when the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) convenes annually (as it did recently in Kansas City), and professors and teachers from all 50 states gather in more than 200 workshops to lay bare their agendas.
Veteran teacher-trainer G. Pritchy Smith of the University of North Florida, who co-conducted a day-long NAME institute on how schools of education should meet diversity standards for accreditation, argues for a 'culturally responsible' pedagogy for teacher education that will enable teachers to carry a 'social reconstructionist perspective' into the classroom. "
  The pendulum continues it;'s inexorable swing.
Poll Shows GOP on the Move: More Ink to Follow?
NEW YORK A new Gallup poll shows that the public values “values” less than November exit polls suggested, but another survey from the same outfit released today shows a historic surge in Republican party affiliation.

In Gallup's latest poll this month, those identifying themselves as Republicans jumped to 37% of the public, with Democrats now clearly trailing with 32%.

Democrats have long held more party members than Republicans. During the Clinton years, the bulge was about 5% to 6%. As recently as late-October of this year the Democratic edge was 37% to 34%.

Gallup noted today: “Post-election shifts in partisanship after presidential elections or midterm congressional elections are not routine, but are also not uncommon.”

Another Gallup poll also released today showed that, contrary to many press reports, “values” ranked well behind the war in Iraq, terrorism and the economy as a prime concern of Americans.
  Hear Hear
Charlotte Observer | 12/14/2004 | Scholar, senator's aide cringe at James' words: "When Mecklenburg County commissioner Bill James came under fire for saying urban blacks 'live in a moral sewer,' he invoked respected scholars to buttress his argument that some social problems among urban blacks stem from immoral behavior.

One of those scholars and an aide to another have since said that neither author intended their writing to be portrayed in such a condemnatory framework. Both said stable families are important social units, but said calling neighborhoods 'moral sewers' did little to inspire serious change.

'The Senator would have expressed his displeasure to hear that a public official said these children live in a moral sewer,' said Daniel Papadopoulos, a former chief of staff to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat. James has repeatedly referred to a report about social problems that Moynihan wrote in 1965 while working in the Johnson administration.

'What does that say to children? Because children hear these things,' Papadopoulos continued. 'If a public official says they live in a sewer, a child will only think they are trash.'

James has also frequently cited the work of John McWhorter, a conservative black scholar currently at the Manhattan Institute in New York.

McWhorter said the problems James has cited confront cities around the country, but those angered by James' comments here should channel their passion to improve urban conditions.

The problems are complex and created by decades of failed social policy, McWhorter said. But, he added, the key to improving urban neighborhoods 'is activism, not histrionics.'"
  Jews continue to flee France
Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "ewish immigration to Israel from France, where anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, has reached its highest level in more than three decades, immigration officials said Tuesday.

The Jewish Agency, a quasi-governmental organization, said 2,236 French Jews immigrated between January and the end of October 2004, up from 1,860 during the same period in 2003 and higher than the full-year figure for any year since 1972 when 2,356 French immigrants arrived.

France has experienced a recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents, coinciding with the four year round of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. French Interior Ministry figures show 510 anti-Jewish acts or threats in the first six months of 2004, compared to 593 for all of 2003.

There has also been growing friction between the French Jewish community,which consists of 600,000 people and is considered the third-largest in the world, and France's Muslim population of almost 5 million."
  Can Canada even be considered a soverign nation anymore?
TheStar.com - Chr�tien fretted as subs rusted: "OTTAWA - Second-hand British submarines sat corroding in dry-dock for three years because former prime minister Jean Chr�tien feared Canadians would rebel at their cost, a parliamentary committee heard yesterday.

The delay was likely a factor in the leaks, electrical snags and other problems uncovered while the submarines were being put into service, former defence minister David Collenette said yesterday.

'They were sitting there in a climate that's not particularly hospitable,' he said. 'The saltwater is corrosive, the air is damp.'"
  Sticking a pickle up my arse might also cure hemeroids, but.....
BBC NEWS | Health | Parasitic worm hope for Crohn's: "Parasitic worms may be an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel disorder Crohn's disease, research in the US suggests.

A University of Iowa team found most of 29 Crohn's patients who swallowed a type of parasitic worm over a 24-week period showed an improvement."
  Appeasement Trio Whistle Past the Graveyard
New Phase Starts in EU-Iran Relations | Europe | Deutsche Welle |: "Germany, France and Britain held talks with Iran in Brussels on Monday in a first attempt to secure a long-term agreement on nuclear, economic and security cooperation.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and his French and British contemporaries, Michel Barnier and Jack Straw, met with Iranian negotiator Hassan Rohani and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Monday.

Prompted by Iran's agreement last month to suspend uranium enrichment activities, the meeting has been welcomed as the start of a new phase in relations between Tehran and the European Union."
  NetFlix spanks BlockBuster
Latest Business News and Financial Information | Reuters.com: "CHICAGO (Reuters) - Blockbuster Inc. (BBI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday said it would eliminate late fees on movies and games in the latest attempt to jump-start a rental business being hammered by competition ranging from online companies to discount retailer Wal-Mart."
  How long till 2+2=5
Police given computer spy powers - National - www.smh.com.au: "Federal and state police now have the power to use computer spyware to gather evidence in a broad range of investigations after legal changes last week.

The Surveillance Devices Act allows police to obtain a warrant to use software surveillance technologies, including systems that track and log keystrokes on a computer keyboard. The law applies to the Australian Federal Police and to state police investigating Commonwealth offences.

Critics have called the law rushed and imbalanced, saying police will be able to secretly install software to monitor email, online chats, word processor and spreadsheets entries and even bank personal identification numbers and passwords.

Irene Graham, executive director of watchdog Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the law went too far in allowing police surveillance.

'The legislation has been passed without the proper scrutiny and the ALP is too afraid to stick to their guns and oppose it,' she said."
  Yep, a Republican must be in office, cause the homelelss only come out for Pubbies
Yahoo! News - Hungry, Homeless Figures Increase in U.S.: "WASHINGTON - Requests for emergency food and shelter increased in many large U.S. cities this year, but not by as much as in recent years, according to a survey released Tuesday."
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  Big Bill gets into the game, will Google's head start be enough?
Microsoft testing subscription Outlook: "Microsoft has started private testing of a service that would offer consumers, on a subscription basis, access to the company's Outlook e-mail and calendaring program, along with 2 gigabytes of e-mail storage.

Microsoft Office Outlook Live, as the service is being called, would be a paid service that would let consumers use Outlook to manage Hotmail-based e-mail, calendar and contact information. In the current beta, customers are being given 2GB of mail storage, the ability to send individual messages with up to 20MB of attachments, as well as a downloadable version of Outlook."
  So what page of the play book is the State Department playing out of this week?
Yahoo! News - US cautions Japan against economic sanctions on unpredictable North Korea: "But US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Michael Green, the Asia chief of the US National Security Council, voiced caution in a meeting with a Japanese official visiting Washington.

Yuriko Koike, the state minister in charge of frontier territories, said she was told by Armitage and Green that 'sanctions are effective when they are shown as a card.'

'But it would be quite tough once you actually start sanctions,' she told Japanese reporters in the US capital. 'They have learned from their experiences that there is a chance you will be outmaneuvered.'

Japanese media interpreted the remark to mean Washington was afraid that if Japan gets tougher it would jeopardize efforts to bring North Korea back to the stalled six-nation talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear arms program.

Koike, who is also environment minister, said Armitage and Green had advised her that 'there is room for ingenuity in mapping out the timing, method and such in regard to sanctions.'"
  Famous Last Words
Yahoo! News - Abbas Calls for End of Armed Uprising: "JERUSALEM - The armed uprising against Israel is a mistake and must end, interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published Tuesday, signaling his determination to change direction after Yasser Arafat (news - web sites)'s death.

Palestinian militants have enjoyed broad support among Palestinians during more than four years of conflict with Israel. Abbas' affirmation of a somewhat unpopular view comes at the height of his campaign for Palestinian Authority (news - web sites) president."
  Yahoo! News - Sprint's Planned Nextel Deal Builds on Wireless Strength
Yahoo! News - Sprint's Planned Nextel Deal Builds on Wireless Strength: "Now, Forsee, 54, is making his boldest move, pushing a merger with Reston-based Nextel Communications Inc., while also preparing to jettison Sprint's poor-performing local telephone business to focus more intently on wireless and long-distance service. The combined company, to be named Sprint-Nextel, would still be only the country's third-largest, behind Verizon's and Cingular's wireless units, but it could be a more formidable competitor given Nextel's prized customer base. Its subscribers are a loyal group, spending more on average than any other wireless company's."
  Wired News: A Patch for Broken Hearts
Wired News: A Patch for Broken Hearts: "The researchers started by attaching rat cardiac cells to a three-dimensional collagen scaffold, which acts as a frame for the cells to grow on and then dissolves. They zapped the cells with electrical pulses modeled on a rat heartbeat for several days, inducing them to grow into beating patches about the size of a dime, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online."
The scientists used a pacemaker to produce electric signals that mimicked a heartbeat. The electrical stimulation was a key ingredient in growing the heart tissue quickly and getting all the cells to beat in unison, according to the researchers. They bathed the heart patch in a medium of nutrients and gases to keep it pumping, and eight days later, the cells developed into tissue similar to that of the native heart.
  Google To Scan Books From Big Libraries
KOTV - The News on 6 - Google To Scan Books From Big Libraries: "SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Inc. is trying to establish an online reading room for five major libraries by scanning stacks of hard-to-find books into its widely used Internet search engine.

The ambitious initiative announced late Monday gives Mountain View, Calif.-based Google the right to index material from the New York public library as well as libraries at four universities _ Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford in England.

The Michigan and Stanford libraries are the only two so far to agree to submit all their material to Google's scanners.

The New York library is allowing Google to include a small portion of its books no longer covered by copyright while Harvard is confining its participation to 40,000 volumes so it can gauge how well the process works. Oxford wants Google to scan all its books originally published before 1901.

Scanning books so they can be read through computers isn't new. Both Google and Amazon.com already have programs that offer online glimpses of new books while an assortment of other sites for several years have provide digital access to some material in libraries scattered around the country.

But Google's latest commitment could have the biggest impact yet, given the breadth of material that the company hopes to put into its search engine, which has become renowned for its processing speed, ease of use and accuracy.

``It's a significant opportunity to bring our material to the rest of the world,'' said Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library. ``It could solve an old problem: If people can't get to us, how can we get to them?'' "
Monday, December 13, 2004
  Ahh the Intelligencia always well reasoned.
UofL withdraws contract with instructor: "Student Brian Yates, publisher of the Louisville Patriot, a conservative student newspaper, quoted McTighe as telling his sociology class in explaining President Bush's re-election: 'It was the religious zealots who say they are voting on morals. I think we should all buy AK-47s and shoot them all! That's what I would suggest, if it were allowed.' (Emphasis Added -ed.)

McTighe has said the column misquoted him.

'We strongly support academic freedom,' UofL President James Ramsey said in the statement.

'The quote attributed to Professor McTighe is unacceptable and not an issue of academic freedom.'"
  One more good aspect of our culture is slain.
First the Boy Scouts and now the Salvation Army. Yeah these dire threats to society must be dealt with and expunged from the public arena.

The Casper Star-Tribune AP News Realtime: "CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The ban on Salvation Army bell ringers in front of Target stores will cost the local organization about 15 percent to 20 percent of its annual donations, according to a Salvation Army official.

Target Corp. decided to enforce a long-standing no solicitation policy this year at all its stores nationwide.

According to a press release from the corporate offices, ''Target does not permit individuals (including political candidates and/or their campaign organizations) or nonprofit organizations to solicit donations, distribute literature, sell merchandise or hold events on our premises.

''We receive an increasing number of solicitation inquiries from nonprofit organizations and groups each year and determined that if we continue to allow the Salvation Army to solicit, then it opens the door to any other groups that wish to solicit our guests.''"
  When Rocks are Outlawed Only Outlaws will have Rocks
In addition to now trying to ban any and all objects that could possibly be used as a weapon. Yep knives, evidently those are an unmitigated danger and must be stopped at all costs, wankers!

Scotsman.com News - UK - Call to sharpen up penalty for knives
FAMILIES of stabbing victims were today set to launch a campaign calling on the Government to make carrying a knife as serious as carrying a gun.

The group, which includes Damilola Taylor’s father, will demand ministers introduce a five-year minimum jail term for carrying an object with a blade longer than three inches, which would equalise the penalties for knives and guns.

They also want a six-month minimum jail term for carrying a blade shorter than three inches, or three months for juveniles.

Other relatives expected at the launch of the Knives Destroy Lives campaign include Paul and Jane Walmsley, parents of 14-year-old Luke Walmsley, who was stabbed in a school corridor in November last year. The family members were due to hand in a letter to Tony Blair at Downing Street as part of the launch.

Mr Walmsley said the current knife laws were a "sick joke". Mr Taylor, whose ten-year-old son was killed in London in 2000, said they have "no effect at all" and the Government has to realise "enough was enough".

Meanwhile, The Victims of Crime Trust yesterday accused Home Secretary David Blunkett of "hijacking" genuine concerns from the relatives of loved ones stabbed to death on Britain’s streets. Mr Blunkett wants to raise the age at which knives can be bought from 16 to 18, and has pledged to do everything in his power to end the menace.

Last month, First Minister Jack McConnell announced plans to combat Scotland’s knife culture.

The maximum jail sentence for possession of a knife will double, while new measures will be used to control the sale of knives.
  The Italian's crooks can figure it out, when will we?
One could only hope that our inmates would take the same position and 'address' their concerns directly with those mutts, rather than our Prison Muslim population lionizing these #$%*&.
Yahoo! News - Mobsters Bully Terror Suspect in Prison: "ROME (Reuters) - International terrorism charges and allegations of ties to al Qaeda might be enough to scare away some cellmates, in some countries.

But Italian mobsters jailed on the island of Sardinia, apparently outraged by terrorism, beat up an Algerian terror suspect and threatened to kill him unless he got himself transferred to a new prison.

The same threat was made against at least one other Algerian inmate.

'You guys set off bombs and do massacres. If you don't change prisons, you're dead,' the criminals were reported to have told Saadi Nassim, in comments confirmed by his lawyer."
  Yahoo! News - Mormon Church Disciplines Author for Book
Yahoo! News - Mormon Church Disciplines Author for Book: "SANDY, Utah - A former Mormon seminary teacher escaped excommunication after being put on trial for writing a book suggesting that early church history, considered sacred, was actually revised and embellished."
  'Moderate' Muslims Threaten EU
Remember folks, when the west talks about the elusive 'moderate' muslim, they usually point to Turkey as a working model on non-fanatic muslim rule. Yeah, lets seethe and threaten terror strikes when the 'moderates' don't get their way.
EUobserver.com: "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned European Union leaders that violence from Islamic extremists could escalate if the EU rejects Turkey as a member. "
Friday, December 10, 2004
  Great Moments in DoubleSpeak
My Way News: "MOSCOW (AP) - Echoing what NASA officials said a day earlier, a Russian space official on Friday said the two-man crew on the international space station could be forced to return to Earth if a planned resupply flight cannot reach them with food supplies later this month.

'I don't want to discuss this possibility, and I won't call it emergency evacuation. I'd rather call it termination of the international mission ahead of time,' ( emphasis added - ed.) said Russian Space Agency spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko.

A Progress supply ship carrying food and other supplies is slated for launch on Dec. 24 and would reach the station on Dec. 26. The crew has already been ordered to cut back on meals because food is running short.

Russian rockets and the non-reusable Soyuz space craft have been the only way NASA can get to the space station and back since the U.S. shuttle fleet was grounded after the Columbia burned up on re-entry in February 2003, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

NASA's space station program manager, Bill Gerstenmaier, said on Thursday that there is enough food on the station to last seven to 14 days beyond Christmas Day."
  NEWS.com.au | Al-Qaeda 'set for seaborne attack' (December 10, 2004)
NEWS.com.au | Al-Qaeda 'set for seaborne attack' (December 10, 2004)
THE al-Qaeda network could stage a seaborne attack within the next 12 months, in a tactical strategy to drive maritime shipping costs and travel times to record highs, a British private defence firm said today.

A waterborne attack would be "spectacular – a big bang to get people's attention"' in an ideal al-Qaeda plot, Aegis Defence Systems intelligence director Dominic Armstrong said.

Aegis said there was a greater likelihood of such a strategy now because al-Qaeda had promoted a maritime attack specialist as the head of its operations in Saudi Arabia.

It said Saud bin Hamud al-Otaibi was thought to be behind the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port city of Aden that killed 17 US sailors.

Mr Armstrong also said the Iraq conflict was training Islamic militants from various countries in warfare, who would return to their home countries trained and battle-hardened.
  Venezuela continues it's slide into totalitarianism
Venezuela to allow censorship: "BOGOT� President Hugo Ch�vez of Venezuela has signed a law that would permit the government to censor news reports.
Advocates of press freedom said the measure, signed Wednesday, was aimed at silencing the most defiant critics of Venezuela's leftist government."
  Yahoo! News - Reporter Involved in Question to Rumsfeld
These are valid questions, and ones that should be presented to the SecDef; however once again the press is seeking to make the news rather than sticking to reporting the news. Frankly they seem more interested in making the US look bad at every opportunity. One wonders what side they see themselves on?
Yahoo! News - Reporter Involved in Question to Rumsfeld: "'I was told yesterday that only soldiers could ask questions so I brought two of them along with me as my escorts,' he wrote. 'Before hand we worked on questions to ask Rumsfeld about the appalling lack of armor their vehicles going into combat have.'

Pitts also said he arranged for the questioners to get recognized."
  Curiouser and Curiouser
I really try to not throw my knee out of whack, when it starts to jerk everytime I read about this guy. However his story stunk back then and frankly it stinks now.
Yahoo! News - Marine Who Went Missing in Iraq Charged: "He has made one statement since returning to the United States, saying he was captured and held against his will by anti-coalition forces. Hassoun has declined interview requests.

During fighting last month in Fallujah, U.S. troops recovered Hassoun's personal belongings in a box on the third floor of a three-story commercial building. The property included an identification card, a uniform and a book."
  The wheels fall off, but it's nothing to worry about
Yahoo! News - Agency Seeks Recalls of Durango, Dakota: "WASHINGTON - Federal safety regulators want 600,000 Dodge Durangos and Dakota trucks recalled because their wheels could fall off, but the auto maker doesn't believe the defect is dangerous, a company spokesman said."
Thursday, December 09, 2004
  Bush gets into bed with Terrorists
I cannot fathom the realpolitik required to fund that cabal of murderers and thugs, let alone the fact that the PA is the wellspring of endless murder and terrorism. How does this square with "You are either with us or with the Terrorists". Are we now 'with' the terrorists?
Aid to Palestinians Approved (washingtonpost.com): "President Bush approved yesterday $20 million in direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, as part of a broader White House strategy to pursue peace in the Middle East following Yasser Arafat's death.

The money will go straight to the authority, breaking a U.S. restriction on direct financing for the government formerly run by Arafat. It comes as Palestinians are struggling to finance their Jan. 9 presidential election, the logistics of which were agreed upon yesterday by Israel and the Palestinians."
  Wow, gotta pay to lock in the Race Baiter
Yahoo! News - Sharpton Was Paid to Aid Kerry Campaign: "But records show that while most of the money was to reimburse travel expenses, Sharpton was paid $35,000 as a 'political consulting fee' 15 days after the election. The consulting fee was first reported in this week's edition of the Village Voice.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Jano Cabrera said the party paid Sharpton at the request of the Kerry campaign."
  One of the All Time Greatest Pranks Ever!
Project: The Game!: "On November 20, 2004 at the 121st Yale-Harvard game, 20 Elis donned custom made 'Harvard Pep Squad' t-shirts, applied enemy-red war paint on their faces, and set out to pull a prank on 1800 Harvard alumni. Like clockwork, these brave Elis proceeded to exude more Harvard spirit than any Cantab ever... tossing t-shirts to the lucky and unsuspecting few, and passing out 1800 sheets of red & white construction paper in perfect order to the cheering Harvard crowd. With 4:47 minutes left in the second quarter of the game, each member of the crowd raised their sheet of paper expecting to spell out 'Go Harvard' as they were told by the cheering 'Harvard Pep Squad.' Instead, the truth was revealed to a laughing crowd of YALE alumni and students who saw the Harvard crowd spell out in clear red letters'WE SUCK.'"
Current events with a sprinkle of opionion.


A prematurely crusty South Park Republican, with a raging addiction to internet news and current events.

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